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tv   FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace  FOX News  December 23, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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development. have a merry christmas, everybody. i'm chris wallace. talks to avert the fiscal cliff sal and washington debates how to prevent more mass murders.
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with nine days to go, is it still possible to make a deal to head off big tax increases and spending cuts? captioned by closed captioning services, inc. , republican john borasso and democrat kent conrad. >> as the nation mourns the victims of a newtown school shooting we turn to a man of faith for some answers. in these trying times he sees the need for a spiritual awakening. we will discuss the sandy hook massacre and the meaning of christmas. plus, a change at the state department as the benghazi report is finally released. we will ask our sunday panel about the nomination of john kerry to rehe place hillary clinton and where the investigation of the terror attack that killed four americans goes now. and our power player of the week continues his holiday tradition to show respect for veterans. all right now on "fox news sunday."
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hello again from fox news in washington. at christmas, people who are naughty get coal in their stockings and at the white house and congress -- if the white house and congress don't make a deal in the next nine days to avoid the fiscal cliff we ring in the new year with big tax increases and spending cuts. here to talk about what is going to happen are two leading senators. john barasso, chairman of the republican policy committee and from new york democrat kent conrad, chairman of the senate budget committee. senators welcome back to "fox news sunday." >> thanks for having me. >> good to be with you. >> chris: before heading to hawaii for christmas the president laid out a new stripped down plan to avert the fiscal cliff. here is what it is. extend the bush tax cuts for people making less than $250,000. extend unemployment benefits for the 2 million people who will run out next month and delay the sequester of $110 billion in spending cuts next year. for all of the talk of $4 trillion in debt reduction
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this plan would only save $800 billion over ten years. senator conrad is that the best that washington can do over the next nine days and can you pass even that? >> look, chris, it may come to that but we can do better. and we should do better. this is an opportunity to do something that would be hugely important for the country. i mean my own belief is what we ought to do is take speaker boehner's last offer, the president's last offer, split the difference. that would be a package of about $2.6 trillion. you couple that with the $1.1 trillion that has already been done and that would be close to the $4 trillion we are needed to stablize the debt and to begin to bring it down and then if you wanted to add on the alternative minimum tax which costs about $800 billion to fix you could offset that with overseas contingency operations. war costs. some people say well, neither of those are real. both of them are a fiction.
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in some sense that is true but at least you are offsetting a spending fiction with a revenue fiction and clearing the deck so that we don't increase from 4 million to 31 million people the number affected by the alternative minimum tax. stablize the debt. >> chris: what would that mean? what would the level be for taxes for revenue. in how much would be raised in revenue and what would it mean in new spending cuts? >> the spending cuts would be a trillion $450 billion. $2.6 trillion. couple that with the $1.1 trillion already done and you are at $3.7 trillion. and look, is it perfect? no. is it everything we he hoped for? >> no. does it match what bowles simpson did? no. on an even comparison bowles simpson would be $5.3 trillion.
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>> chris: let me ask you one last quick question. are you saying that you don't like the president's plan? >> look, it may come to that but i would hope that we would have one last attempt here to do what everyone knows needs to be done. which is a larger plan that really does stablize the debt and get us moving in the right direction and does it in it a way that is cognizant that we have an economy that is recovering, that still is weak and we don't slam it. we don't slam on the brakes here in a way that puts us back into recession, that increases jobless rate to 9.1%. >> chris: let me bring in senator barasso. your reaction to the plan? >> i want to find a solution and i want us to not go over the cliff. if we do it hurts our economy and our country. when i listen to the president i think the president is eager to go over the cliff for political purposes. he sees a political victory. the additional tax revenue for new programs and gets to cut
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the military which democrats have been calling for for years and gets to blame republicans for it. when the president recently it was in the "wall street journal" yesterday talked about using the state of union and the inaugural address to blame republicans that doesn't sound like somebody who is working with republicans to find a solution. it is time for the protesters lead.esident to >> chris: he basically said this is all i think we can get done in the next nine days. extend the bush tax cuts for everybody below $250,000. and extend unemployment benefits. as the number three republican in the senate can you gar ran that republicans won't filibuster that plan? >> i can't even guarantee that the democrats will vote for it. you have many democrats on the record who don't like this either in the senate. the 250 number is too low according to a number of the democrats. it doesn't deal with some of the issues out there. unemployment' not sure that they even get a majority in the senate even though the democrats do have a majority of the members of the senate right
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now. >> chris: and what about republicans? would you you filibuster it? >> that s a different issue. i don't think this is going to solve the problem. it actually doesn't solve the problem. we have a spending problem in the country,. chris. we don't have a taxing problem. >> chris: we have nine days. are we going over the cliff. >> i believe we are and i believe the president is eager to go over the cliff for political purposes. i think it hurts our country and our economy. >> chris: i understand that your party oh o poses raising taxes. you are saying whether right or wrong in that. whether you like it or not the bush tax cuts expire for everyone at the first of the year. why not extend the bush tax cuts for 98% of people instead of raising them for everybody? >> i don't want us to go over the cliff. i want to find a solution. the extension in making permanent the bush tax cuts for everyone i think would be a good idea.
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they have that bill that came over from the house and -- >> chris: that is not going to happen. >> amendments can beavered. i think there is still time. we are coming back here on the 27th. realistically what the president has just proprosed it raising taxes now, perhaps dealing with spending later. we need to grow the economy. we need entitlement reform. the president seems to be ignoring those things, chris. >> chris: senator conrad. let's talk about the president's offer. not the conrad offer but the president's offer. you were a member of the bowles simpson deficit commission and voted for the final report. that proposed almost $3 trillion in spending cuts. president obama's last offer the one that the republicans rejected was less than $1 trillion in spending cuts. we checked. that would be less than 2% of the $44 trillion the government will spend over the next decade. again, is that the bes democrats can do? 2% of all of the spending over the next decade?
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>> you know, this conversation to me is exactly what is wrong in washington. i mean just listen to the conversation you have is just had. it is he said, she said, blame the other guy. look, i tried to be constructive here and lay out an actual plan to get us nearly $4 trillion by taking the offers that are on the table. speaker boehner and the president were so close and then speaker boehner went off on plan b. i never understood why. had no prospect of succeeding. it did not succeed even in his own caucus. now, the question. >> chris: but you are not answering my question. >> because i tell you something because we only have nine days left here. when are we going to get serious about actual solutions? i would lineback joh welcome jl me. he wants a solution. give us one, john. >> there is only one person that can provide the leadership and that is the president of
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the united states. >> no, sir,, that is not true. >> that is -- >> only one person that can provide the leadership. rather than campaigning he ought to be here leading and talking with people and talking to folks on both sides of the aisle to get a solution so we don't go over the cliff. i believe the president is eager to go over the cliff. >> there are 535 of us that can provide leadership. 435 in the house and 100 in the senate and there is the president. all of us have a responsibility here. and you know what is happening? what is happening is the same old tired blame game. he said she said. i think the american people are tired of it. what they want to hear is what is the solution? what is the way to stop this before we go over the cliff. put the economy back into recession and put millions more people out of work. look, both sides have to give some ground and we ought to hear from republicans what ground they are willing to give. i have outlined what ground this democrat is willing to give. and have demonstrated it with
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bowles simpson and the group of six. >> chris: senator, wayne to move on to another subject. we have limited time and i think we exhausted this debate for the purposes of this program. a week after the massacre at sandy hook elementary, nra executive wayne lapierre joined the debate and here is part of what he said. >> the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. >> chris: senator barasso, wayne lapierre proposed having an armed guard in every school in america. estimates are that would cost some where not the neighborhood of $8 billion a year. a couple of questions. one, would you vote at a time of deficit issues for $8 billion a year to put armed guards in every school in america? and are there any laws you can support in terms of assault
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guns, or assault rifles in terms of high capacity magazines, tightening background checks, any new gun controls you could support? >> letts step back for a second. i'm a doctor and father of three and from wyoming, a state where we believe strongly in our second amendment rights. we are the people of wyoming and we personally still absolutely committed to find real solutions that work. so something like this tragedy never happens again. three more of those children were laid to rest yesterday. >> chris: i'm asking the specific question, sir. >> very, very, very hurtful to all of us in this country. i think decisions about schools ought to be made at the local level. i would not want a national effort to say you have is to do this at schools. i think local education made at thee best plaid at the local level. you know we will have a spirited discussion in congress at the beginning of next year. we need to look at all of the issues because what wayne lais
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pierre and the president of the united states agree on is in this country we have a culture of violence. >> chris: that is really ducking it, sir. >> there is a culture of violence. >> chris: also the president believes there is a need for tighter gun control. would you support it or not? >> i'm stron supporter of secod amendment rights. >> chris: that doesn't answer the question. >> i want to find real solutions that work and washington at any time the place that you find the solutions. they will be found in families and faith and communities and in medicine and health care. those are the problems. >> chris: what did you think of what wayne lapierre had to say and are there any gun controls you would support? >> i already have. i voted for an assault weapons ban twice. i voted for closing the gun show loophole where 40% of the guns are sold in the country and there is no background check occurring in the sales. maybe you can catch people who
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shouldn't have their hands on a gun if you close the gun show loophole and i also voted for a lock to be sold with guns so that you have a trigger lock, $5 you can have a trigger lock and that actually might have prevented this if the mother had had trigger locks on the guns. >> chris: we got about a minute left. >> she would have been able to perhaps prevent this. >> what do you think of wayne lapierre's offer? >> it is pretty empty. that is the only answer is to put more guns in schools? look, we already have armed officers in many schools in washington, d.c. we have armed officers in schools and some of that is appropriate and perhaps we can do more. it actually doesn't cost $8 billion. we have 130,000 elementary and secondary schools in the country. if you had two officers in each that would cost $25 billion. where is that money going to come from?
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>> chris: i will give you you 30 seconds to respond and we have is to wrap it up. >> it is the christmas season. washington doesn't have the answers for everything for our culture. there are issues of mental health and issues of our culture and i think that we are not -- we can look and get some false sense is of security from washington in passing more laws but we need real solutions to a significant problem in our country and i'm not sure that passing another law in washington is going to actually find a real solution. >> chris: senators, thank you both. thanks for coming in today. merry christmas to both of you. >> thank you. >> you, too. >> chris: up next, pastor rick warren on the newtown school shooting and the meaning of christmas. as the nation faces tough times. [ male announcer ] when it comes to the financial obstacles military families face, we understan at usaa, we know military life is different.
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>> chris: a decade ago in his best selling book the purpose driven life he wrote god has a plan for us. this holiday season as the nation tries to cope with the tragedy at sandy hook elementary his perspective takes on a special meaning. earlier i is spoke evangelical minister pastor rick warren. nine days later we are still mourning the victims of the shooting in newtown, connecticut. what are your thoughts about this tragedy? >> you know, time magazine is calling it the massacre of innocence. that actually is a phrase from the first christmas where herod killed baby boys under two at christmas time and it is tragic that this is happening at christmas time.
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i think with the two sandies, sandy hook and sandy hurricane we really need the christmas spirit right now. the deeper the pain, the deeper the grief, the fewer the words. there are long-term things we need to deal with to prevent this from happening again but right now we need to console those who are grieving. as a pastor, i deal with grief every day of my life and i have discovered that grief is actually a good thing. it is the way we make transitions in the losses of life. jesus said blessed are those who mourn they shall be comforted. if we stuff our grief what i figured out is that it comes out sideways later on in some strange ways and so part of the healing process is actually dealing with the grief and the way we help people in grief is just be with them. you don't have to say anything. you don't need anything profound. you don't need to be wise.
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you just need to sit with people and love them during their grief. >> you know, we talk you say long-term the solutions and obviously some of them which we are talking to the politicians about, gun control and better access to mental health and trying to deal with the violent games and the culture of violence in hollywood. but in a deeper more spiritual sense what is the problem and what is the solution? >> well, i think spiritual sense is at the root of it. any time you have a major crisis or tragedy like this, there are multiple angles. we had seven major shootings since april in america. and there is always -- there s a mental health angle that you have to deal with. i don't think we are taking care of those who are struggling with mental illness like we need to in america. there is the civil safety issue you which is gun control and these assault weapons. they don't call them assault weapons for nothing. there is the social issues you
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mentioned when students by the time they are are 18 they may be killed, 10,000, 20,000 people on video games without any, you know, remorse for it. it creates a culture of violence. but at the deepest level is the spiritual issue which is the emptiness inside of people that causes people to be enraged like this. when we don't have peace in our hearts we are not going to have peace with each other. that is why jesus the prince of peace came at christmas. it starts in the heart. >> chris: ten years ago, when your book "the purpose driven life" came out you i think it is fair to say became the face of the evangelical movement. i think you you would agree that your public profile has not been as high in the last few years but you are just about to begin a new campaign. what is your goal, sir? >> first, i intentionally was absent from the scene for the last ten years i have been in a
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lot of small villages around the world, africa and places like that that most people have never heard of. we started with the proceeds of the book we took that and put it into a thing called the peace plan. about stands for promote, silliation, equip leaders. in the last ten years i have been overseas most of that time. i had over 16,000 of my members doing humanitarian work in 196 countries. so i -- i was really not around a whole lot except when i was here at the church. the new campaign, i realized that when i wrote the book what on earth am i here for, the hen that booken life, a girl who came out is now 22. and she needs to know the purpose of life and what i discovered is there are a lot of people who are young today in their 20s who are pretty
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disillusioned with the american dream. i mare this all the time. people say, you know, rick, i did four years of college and i have been out now and i have been one, two, three years without a job. i had to move back in with my parents. lot of people in their 20s and early 30s feel like their life is on hold and they are kind inform limbo. i thought i need to revise, update the book. write a new six week spiritual journey called what on earth am i here for and go after a new generation to help them find some meaning and purpose while we are waiting on the economy to turn around. >> chris: you talk about a nation in decline. you talk about it being as divided as it has been since the civil war and you talk about a need for a spiritual reawakening. what does that mean? >> well, there are a lot of things we are never going to agree on. there are are some things we all agree on. when you get down to the basics of it, people want the same thing. they want safety for their
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family. they want security. they want a good job. they want to prosper. they want our nation to be safe. they want to be in good health. what people disagree on is how to get there. and so the answer to our unity, i believe is not going to be in politics because we going to have different degrees all over the spectrum on that. but when we come together on the things that really matter most and there are three fundamental questions. the question of significance and that is does my life matter. the question of intention. what is my purpose? and the question of existences. why am i here? these are is spiritual issues. they are not political issues and they can provide a rallying cry, a purpose that could help us unify. we are not ever going to agree on policies. but we can agree on direction. >> chris: you talk about not agrowing on politics. four years ago you delivered
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the in vocation at president obama's first inauguration. question, how do you think he has done as president? >> you know what, i would say like every president. things agree he did a good job on. i think there is some things that i totally disagree with him on. i made that known to him. four years earlier are i did the opening prayer for the inauguration week for president bush also. and i agreed with some of the things he did and disagreed with some of them. every president is bound to be set up for failure because the moment he is elected half the people don't like him. so he is going to have -- he is a human being and going to make mistakes. i am praying for our president because i believe that the bible tells us to do so. >> chris: what do you think has been his biggest accomplishment and what are you most disappointed about over these last four years? >> i don't know what the biggest accomplishment would
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be. i don't know that. my biggest disappointment is the disunity. president obama ran saying i'm going to be a unifier and our molestation is more divided than ever before. i think it is more divided than at any time since the civil war. that is disheartening to me. >> chris: he would say i have tried and you had mitch mcconnell say in 2010 our number one objective is to make him a one term president. how much is he responsible for that? how much is it everybody else in washington? >> i don't blame simply the president. i think there is plenty of blame to go around. i would say this. we need to stop blaming. you can't fix the problem while you are fixing the blame. i have trained leaders literally all around the world for the last the 30 years and one of the things i teach leadership is leaders accept the responsibility or accept the blame and give away the
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credit and i see a lot of politician doing the exact opposite. you spell blame b-lame. every time you blame you are being lame. i fish they would stop fixing blame and fix the problem. >> chris: newtown is going to color everything about the rest of this condition. we still look forward to christmas. do you have a message for all of us, myself, all of our viewers this year, sir? >> yeah, you know, chris, the purpose of christmas is actually found in the three statements that the angels made at the very first christmas. christmas is for celebration. it is for salvation. and it is for reconciliation. >> we want to thank you so much for talking with us. we need a message of celebration right now. >> thank you, we do. >> and merry christmas. >> merry christmas. >> chris: up next, grabbing the rail as we slide toward the
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fiscal cliff. we'll ask our sunday panel about the president's latest plan to take some of the pain out of going over the brink. will the gop sign on? [ sniffs ] i have a cold. [ sniffs ] i took dayquil but my nose is still runny. [ male announcer ] truth is, dayquil doesn't treat that. really? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms, plus it relieves your runny nose. [ breathes deeply ] awesome. [ male announcer ] yes, it is. that's the cold truth! flavor boost, meet beef. it's swanson flavor boost. concentrated broth to add delicious flavor to your skillet dish in just one stir. mmm! [ female announcer ] cook, meet compliments. get recipes at
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>> chris: call me a hopeless optimist but i actually still think we can get it done. >> how we get there, god only knows. >> chris: the president and speaker boehner still looking for some way to cushion the blow of going over the fiscal cliff. time for our sunday group. bill kristol of the weekly standard. kirsten powers. laura ingraham and fox news political analyst juan williams. >> this week one gave me a new way to think of the way we are accumulating the huge national debt. it is interesting. under president obama the debt increased $5.7 trillion. the estimated cost of recovery from hurricane are sandy is $50 billion. so the rate at which our debt is increasing is as if a new
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hurricane sandy hit the u.s. treasury every two weeks. given that, bill, what do you think of the president's new stripped down plan which would reduce the debt by less than 2 sandys in the first year. >> the president is not serious about reducing the debt. that was evident the last four years and will be evident the next four years. we do have this practical problem ten days from now of the fiscal cliff. i said republicans would be well advised to accept the fact that president obama won the election and minimize the damage that will be done by the tax increase that is coming. >> chris: you would go for the stripped down obama plan? >> i would go for what the speaker tried to do late last week and try to get the number up from $250,000. yes, there is going to be a tax increase on the wealthy. i would try to protect investments as much as possible. do the amt patch. have a reasonable deal on estate taxes.
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i'm a squish on this. got to make the best of a bad situation. i think what will happen incidentally is republicans will be faced on monday, on december 31 with having to vote on a much worse proposal than the one they didn't give speaker boehner the majority for. >> chris: the plan b. >> harry reid will pass through the senate on thursday or friday a tax hike on everyone over $250,000 and republicans will have the joyc choice on m, letting it come to a vote. i think the speaker probably has to. b, will they lose 20 or 30 republicans to join the democrats to pass this or not. i think it is a worse outcome but that is what happens when republicans decided they would just be ob cit obstinate and no along with the speaker. >> chris: extend unemployment benefits and delay, kick the
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can down the road the sequester of $110 billion in spending cuts. kirsten, with republicans in the house already rejecting as we just pointed out the boehner plan which would have only raised taxes on people making more than a million dollars what are the chances that they will go for the obama plan? >> well, it is -- i mean very low that you are -- well, zero that you would get the entire republican caucus. maybe something can happen where you you get some republicans and some democrats but even that seems difficult and i think that it shows how unreasonable the republicans have become. if you cannot even agree to the boehner plan which is only letting taxes go up on people who make over a million dollars a year. is it even 1% of the country. you know, you -- there is -- you are just -- you can't -- how is obama is supposed to negotiate with them? i think it is such an extreme plan. they have gone from being the party of fiscal responsibility used to be their brand so we will never raise taxes on anybody no matter what and i
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think that obama has actually, look, he gave in on this issue one time and now they are coming back and they will not give even on this small little number of people. and i just -- i think it is going to politically backfire on them eventually. >> chris: it isn't just democrats who feel this way. one of speaker boehner's allies in the house, congressman steven latourette blasted the tea party colleagues for blocking the boehner plan this week. let's take a look. >> that is the same, 40, 50 chuckle heads that all year starting with hr 1 the entire congress has screwed this place up. and so he has done everything in his power to make nice to them. to bring them along. to make them feel included. but it hasn't mattered. >> chris: question, are the people who oppose boehner's plan b chuckle heads? >> well, when first of all, i have to say i love the word so i would include a sound bite.
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anybody can get on "fox news sunday" just say chuckle head. >> the sort of conservatives, what is boehner actually doing. a couple of things. number one, republicans lost this election. they lost it fairly significantly. they lost house seats and senate seats and mitt romney rarely discussed the fiscal cliff and we look back on this conversation and we think gosh it would have been nice if we had a plan that had been laid out other than what mitt romney was saying we will deal with this if a piece meal fashion. we come to the table with that as the reality. nonetheless, why is anybody leaving town? why did the president leave town for vacation and the republicans and democrat is. if this is as serious as people say and i think it is serious. it would seem even if the tea party is terrible people and they he don't want to agree with anything. they are are there and you have to deal with them. everyone should say in town.
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have the little christmas eve dinner. stay in town and figure this out. and the tea party they believe in certain principles and they are fighting for the principles. they think it is a spending problem and not a taxing problem. i tend to agree with them. republicans are probably going to get a worse deal on the table as a result of what happened. nevertheless, the president has to deal with the cards that are on the table and it includes tea party folk. you can demonize them and vilify them but in the end you have to deal with these folks anda i think that bill is right that the president doesn't care all that much about reduce the debt. it is all about expanding the role of government and if you can look on paper like you are reducing the debt, fine. if that was really a priority i think we would have had different things happen. >> chris: interesting question if the senate passes the obama plan to kick the can down the road and protect 98% of americans from having taxes raised, boehner is going to be faced with the question does he
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bring this up to a vote in the the house and again they rejected the million dollars. and now it is a $250,000 threshold. does he bring it up to the house where democrats would have to provide the votes to put him over the top and do this the same week that his -- he is going to have to face selection of speaker? -- election as speaker? >> the first thing to say that the big plan that the president and speaker boehner were close on would pass the house but speaker boehner won't bring it up. and, of course, if he put this plan, the senate plan, the temporary patch as i call it. >> chris: i'm not sure it would have passed the house. >> i think it would have. the votes are there. a significant number of republicans. >> chris: more in revenue increases than it did in spending cuts. >> there was a little more negotiating to be done but they were close. >> chris: why did boehner dropped out? >> he felt that he wanted to have added leverage. picking up on what laura is saying he understood the election and the polls and the president is acting as if he was in a superior position, he
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is. boehner wanted better leverage and said i can go back and say this is something that the house has done and we have passed it and we got it so negotiate with me fairly, my troops are behind me. turns out his troops are not behind him and he looks weaker than ever right now. your question becomes the critical question. is he willing to play ball in order to get something done at the risk of losing his speakership with eric cantor the number one long standing behind him lurking and looking for untuned. >> chris: what is your answer? >> i think that he has to do it. >> chris: bill, what do you think? there is a real question whether it passes the senate. can you guarantee this won't be filibustered. he said no. he didn't think that is lot of democrats would go along with it. if boehner does, this will protect 98% of taxpayers but i will do it with democrats. does it he do it and will that sink him as speak. let the house vote its
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will. see if all of the democrats want to vote for it and see if there is enough republicans. i do not think it sinks him as speaker. there is a fair amount of personal loyalty to john boehner among house republicans. i don't think he will be deposed. >> chris: do we end up going over the cliff or not. >> in december 31 in a bizarre open vote where both party members release the members to vote their conscience they save 98% of taxpayers. >> and the payroll tax cut. is that is not so good for democrats. >> and the cost of living is going up. >> the democrats did not protect 98% of americans it will turn out. >> chris: we will take a break here and we will still be able to discuss this next week. a tough report about the benghazi attack and the president starts to put together his new national security team. look, if you have copd like me, you know it can be hard to breathe, and how that feels.
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copd includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. spiriva helps control my copd symptoms by keeping my airways open for 24 hours. plus, it reduces copd flare-ups. spiriva is the only once-daily inhaled copd maintenance treatment that does both. spiriva handihaler tiotropium bromide inhalation powder does not replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms. tell your doctor if you have kidney problems, glaucoma, trouble urinating, or an enlarged prostate. these may worsen with spiriva. discuss all medicines you take, even eye drops. stop taking spiriva and seek immediate medical help if your breathing suddenly worsens, your throat or tongue swells, you get hives, vision changes or eye pain, or problems passing urine. other side effects include dry mouth and constipation. nothing can reverse copd spiriva helps me breathe better. (blowing sou) ask your doctor about spiriva.
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i want somebody to ask secretary clinton why didn't you you go on tv 16 september when secretary or ambassador are rice says that secretary clinton wasn't available because she was sick and giving grief counseling to the people in the department of state. >> chris: nascar lindsay graham not satisfied with a new report that found systemic failures at the state department contributed to the deaths of four americans at the u.s. consulate in benghazi. we are back now with the panel. the state department investigation found appointed by the state department found that state provided grossly inadequate security at the consulate in benghazi and laid the blame at the assistant secretary level not at the
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level of secretary of state clinton but given that report and the fact that susan rice pulled h her name out and is not going to be the next secretary of state, laura, is the benghazi controversy effectively over? >> i don't think so. so many questions that were still left open and a number of the senators addressed those this week after this report. we have gross negligence but the culpability doesn't reach the secretary's office. some of the information got to her and not enough information. and then hillary clinton suffers from the immaculate concussion. she doesn't show up to testify and maybe will testify in january. all seems a little too convenient. it is like the tree falls in the forerest no one is there to see it, did it really happen. it seems bizarre. hillary clinton could answer a lot of questions on camera and do a full press conference even if she didn't go to the hill to testify. as long as there are the
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unanswered questions. >> chris: she has never really answered quids. >> four dead americans and the secretary of state has refused to answer questions at a full-blown press conference or get herself to capitol hill. 2016 politics are coming into play early on this and i think people are not going to forget this. the question is are the people around the world safe today? are they? what about the criminal investigation into the people responsible? why did the fbi take several weeks to get on to the site of benghazi. why were reporters finding journals of the ambassador but we still don't know what the ambassador actually really thought or said about the security risks. >> chris: you heard the clip of lindsay graham saying he wants to ask secretary clinton the what did you know and when did you know it questions. she is reportedly going to testify in january. is the controversy dead or still have some legs? >> the controversy is dead,
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over. over for a long time. the report says there is no coverup and no lies. it the politicized in the midst of the campaign. with regard to hillary clinton there is no indication that she saw any of the reports and the report talks about did it get to the 7th floor. that is not clear from the report. nobody is indicateing that secretary clinton had some operative decision-making role here that led to the calamity. she may say she saw some of it but it is not determinative. the larger issue here is the fact that this report and you have is credible people behind it saying we looked into all this and there were assets on the ground. did anybody tell the people at the compound not to go help the people at the consulate? turns out that the ambassador had unusual latitude in personal movements and there had been requests for security but most of the requests were in it trip l tripoli and not b. human beings make mistakes but to make it into this political
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some people say watergate it was ridiculous from the start and looking worse now. >> chris: bill, i will let you weigh in on that if you want but i want to ask you about the president's new national security team. this week he named john kerry to be the new secretary of state and the frontrunner for the pentagon reportedly is chuck republican senator chalk hagel who went on a former trip with then senator obama in 2008 to the middle east. what do you think of kerry as the definite, well, i think it is fair to say he will sail through as the nominee for secretary of state. and what do you think of hagel as the potential secretary of defense? >> senator kerry will go through. president obama won the election and senator kerry is an appropriate secretary of state for a light footprint often unwise foreign policy that he will execute president obama's foreign policy competently. i think senator hagel will not
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be nominated or confirmed. etan was a republican senator but on foreign policy issues in the last several years and he has been way to the left of president obama in terms of iran sanctions. >> the iran sanctions votes which got 92 and 97 votes in the senate and he voted against. there is a letter signed by 99 senators, every other senator that he refused to sign. on israel, he talked about the jewish lobby in 2006. for a republican president to nominate someone talk about the jewish lobby having too much influence would that person be thought appropriate to be secretary of defense? i don't think so. i think senator hagel won't be nominated by president obama. he likes president obama and they went on this trip together and he liked the idea of having a republican and all that but republicans aren't for him and a lot of democrats are privately telling the white house what are you doing to us? we don't want to vote for this guy. if you are liberal democrat what do you want chuck hagel
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for? it is not like he was there for them and now they are supposed to walk the plank because president obama personally thinks it would be cute to have a republican as secretary of defense. >> chris: kirsten, how much trouble is hagel in and given the publicity he has gotten as the person obama wants to pick if he doesn't go ahead with this after what happened with susan rice what kind of message does that send at the beginning of the presidents it second term? >> i mean to a lot of people it would send the message that he is not willing to fight for people but there is no reason that he needs to fight for hagel. with susan rice it was a little different. she has been close to him for a long time. with hagel, i don't think he has a big constituency as bill just outlined. certainly not a big constituency among democrats. if he can't get republican votes what is the point of it because he is not popular with democrats. he had this run in with the gay community. he is apologized. hrc accepted the apology. there is bad blood there.
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so michelle fornoi who the name has been floated, you know, have a woman secretary of defense. >> served in the obama defense department in the first term so actually someone who has worked for president obama. >> i think would be a much more probably popular choice. >> chris: a little over a minute left and we will go in it in length on panel plus. what did you think of wayne lapierre's statement? >> you could hear the collective gasps. stylistically and substantively what wayne said. i think the larger conversation you began and i thought it was a terrific interview with rick warren is what families are talking about this holiday season. enjoying time with the families but thinking of the connecticut families. i'm from connecticut and grew up not far from newtown. i personally as a mom am thinking about those mothers and fathers and i get teared up when i teen talk about it. i do believe that this rush to if we only had the assault weapons ban and the ban on the
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high capacity magazines we wouldn't have the problems. i think it is wrong headed. we could pass those laws tomorrow. and if we did, i think we would still have a significant problem. your scowls not withstanding. i love one but he scowls. i love you and i love your are tie. we would still have violence. the assault weapons ban did not demonstrably reduce violence in the united states. >> chris: thank you and we will continue the conversation on panel plus as we said as soon as we finish here. we will peck up right with this discussion on our website and we will post the video before noon eastern time aniyoll see what juan has to say beyond the scowls and follow us on twitter on "fox news sunday."
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up next, our traditional christmas power player of the week.
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[ male announcer ] this is sheldo whose long day setting up the news starts with arthritis pain and a choice. take tylenol or take aleve,
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the #1 recommended pain reliever by orthopedic doctors. just two aleve can keep pain away all day. back to the news. tomato, obviously. haha. there's more than that though, there's a kick to it. wahlalalalallala! smooth, but crisp. it's kind of like drinking a food that's a drink, or a drink that's a food, woooooh! [ male announcer ] taste it and describe the indescribable. could've had a v8. hi, i'm ensure clear... clear, huh? i'm not juice or fancy water. i've gotine grams of protein. that's three times more than me! [ female announcer ] ensure clear. nine grams protein. zero fat. in blueberry/pomegranate and peach. >>. >> chris: its christmas tradition to share the story of how one family has found a way to express the meaning of the
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holiday season. its moving example of love for our country and personal generosity. once again here is our power player of the week. >> we wouldn't have the opportunities if it wasn't for the people that fought for us. that gave their lives for us. >> chris: that plain spoken wisdom that has driven him for years on a mission that has touched america's heart. he places wreaths at arlington national cemetery and thousands of volunteers are there to help him. >> a lot of people appreciate the veterans and they want to show it. >> chris: this story begins back in 1962 when he was a 12-year-old paper boy from maine won a trip to washington. what impressed him most was arlington was the rows and rows of graves. everyone represents a life and a family and a story.
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they are not just tomb stones those are all people. >> 30 years later in 1992 he was running his own wreath company in maine. but as christmas approached he had a bunch left over. >> these wreaths are real fresh, just made. i just didn't want to throw them away. >> chris: he thought of arlington and all those graves. when the cemetery approved, they laid them on the headstones. so it continued for years until a few christmases back, when an air force sergeant took this picture which ended up on the internet. >> kind of struck a nerve to people and it really went around the world. >> chris: we were there the next year as he and his workers at worcester wreath company loaded up their wreaths.
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then they embarked on what they called the world's longest veterans parade. 507 mile journey that at some time attracted hundred vehicles. so many people wanted to participate. >> this ceremony you are about to witness is an army ceremony to be conducted for the company. >> chris: he paid for this out of his own pocket. he started wreaths across america sending hundreds to war memorials around the country but he will need help to reach his new goal. >> to get 2.7 million graves, that is a tall order to decorate 2.7 million graves. >> chris: would you like to do it? >> i really would. i don't know how, hey. >> chris: how long are you going to keep doing this? >> i'm going to keep dining this as long as i live and i know my family will continue. it w


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